Turkey Sinks An Airbus jumbo Jet in Aegean Sea to AttractFfish
It was designed to carry hundreds of travelers 30,000 feet up in the air. Now an Airbus jumbo jet lies inert some 75 feet under the surface of the Aegean Sea — not twisted into wreckage, but slowly and deliberately sunk by Turkish officials in the hopes of luring fish and tourists in droves.
On Saturday, the 36-year-old jet concluded its final voyage. The plane’s journey began in Istanbul in April, where the massive Airbus — 177 feet long with a 144-foot wingspan — had been divvied into parts and then hauled on trucks to the seaside resort town of Kuşadası.
The Airbus A300 jet is thought to be the largest plane ever used as an artificial reef, reportedly taking two-and-a-half hours to submerge. Witnesses numbered in the hundreds, “cheering and blasting their foghorns” from their boats, Agence France-Presse reported. Divers and cranes lowered the Airbus to the seabed, guiding the aircraft on rafts of floating balloons until the nose of the plane finally slipped below the Aegean Sea.
Özlem Çerçioğlu, mayor of the local Aydin province, told AFP the motivation for sinking the plane was twofold: to turn Kuşadası into a year-round destination for tourists who dive, and to protect the underwater life. “And with these goals in mind,” she said, “we have witnessed one of the biggest wrecks in the world.”